MPP Harris Announces More Financial Relief for Waterloo Region

Published on December 16, 2020

Over $20 million in funding will help ensure local governments avoid operating deficits in 2021
December 16, 2020


WATERLOO REGION — Today, Mike Harris, MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga announced that the Region of Waterloo and area municipalities are receiving an additional $20,821,000 in Safe Restart Agreement funding. This discretionary funding will be used to offset operating costs for critical services and help ensure that local municipalities do not carry an operating deficit into 2021.

“This funding will provide our municipalities with the support they need to continue delivering critical services that we all rely on,” said MPP Harris. “Today’s announcement will help the Region of Waterloo and our 7 cities and townships develop 2021 budgets that reflect the reality of COVID-19 and give them the confidence they need to proceed with capital projects that will drive economic growth.”

Regional allocations are as follows:

Regional Municipality of Waterloo $5,644,000
City of Cambridge $1,298,000
City of Kitchener $9,634,000 including over $7 million in application-based funding
Township of North Dumfries $94,000
City of Waterloo $3,628,000 including over $2 million in application-based funding
Township of Wellesley $86,000
Township of Wilmot $204,000
Township of Woolwich $233,000

The Ontario government is allocating an additional $695 million across the province to provide financial relief for municipalities and help ensure they do not carry operating deficits into 2021.

“This joint funding will help Ontario’s municipalities recover from the impacts of COVID-19 faster, by helping them to enter into 2021 without operating deficits from this year,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “By ensuring our municipal partners are in a sound financial position to begin the new year, they can better focus on keeping their capital projects on track while continuing to provide the critical services their residents rely on.”

Of the $695 million announced today, $299 million is being allocated across all 444 municipalities to help provide more financial relief, as 2021 operating budgets are finalized. An additional $396 million is also being allocated to 48 municipalities that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 and who have demonstrated a need for additional assistance in covering their 2020 operating deficits.

This builds on the $43 million in the first phase of Safe Restart Agreement funding announced in August for Waterloo Region’s local governments.

• The federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement is a historic partnership that secured up to $4 billion in emergency funding for Ontario’s municipalities to help them on the road to a safe recovery.

• In August, an initial investment of $1.6 billion was provided so every Ontario municipality could address their operating pressures, support transit systems and help vulnerable people.

• The Ontario government has provided $510 million to municipalities and Indigenous community partners through the Social Services Relief Fund to help protect the health and safety of vulnerable people during COVID-19.

• The province has made an additional three-year, $45-billion commitment to help communities recover as part of Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover. This includes critical investments in health and other initiatives, to ensure Ontario is more resilient in the future.

• Ontario is also supporting municipalities in finding budget savings and efficiencies through the Audit and Accountability Fund and Municipal Modernization Program -- supporting municipalities with third-party audits and service reviews. Municipalities have already received $215 million through these programs.

• Allocations for municipalities under phase two of the federal-provincial Safe Restart
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